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iTunes Indie Meeting Notes 454

Posted by michael
from the reality-distortion dept.
BWJones writes "The CD baby! site contains notes taken from the indie music meeting recently held at Apple. Interesting statistics revealed were that there are about 500k songs/week being downloaded from the iTunes Music store and that 45% of songs are being purchased as albums. Other interesting items of note are that Apple is treating everyone as equvalents in that all labels receive equal treatment with the same deal, the same agreements and you work with the same team of people. What's more is that Apple cuts a check EVERY MONTH which is huge for the smaller labels." Wired has another story about iTunes which notes that what Jobs taketh away, the community is bringing back.
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iTunes Indie Meeting Notes

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  • by pcaylor (648195) on Friday June 06, 2003 @02:25PM (#6133832)
    I don't know which was faster, the information about the iTunes store on the CDBaby site being pulled or the obligatory post about how slow it is to copy files on an 8600/300.
  • See Gnutella News (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 06, 2003 @02:26PM (#6133840)
    Here [gnutellanews.com]
  • by Gossy (130782) on Friday June 06, 2003 @02:26PM (#6133842)
    Perhaps the record labels had a problem with the streaming, and so Apple pulled it - expecting that someone would just hack their code to bring it back.

    What with all the fuss about internet radio and royalty fees, it's not too far fetched that the record companies didn't like people legitimately streaming the songs they had legitimately purchased.

    IIRC, Tivo & others have similar hidden features that the masses are unaware of that would probably annoy the TV companies if it were publicised.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Apple's claim is that they do not have an attitude of trying to prevent piracy people who are going to pirate music in any case. What they want to avoid is having their software being used for extremely easy piracy. So once someone sets up a web service to aggregate all iTunes collections on the planet, they modified that feature.

      Keeping honest people honest and not worrying about pirates seems to be their strategy.

    • What "hidden features" are there in TiVo?
      • by stripes (3681) on Friday June 06, 2003 @04:13PM (#6134848) Homepage Journal
        What "hidden features" are there in TiVo?

        There is a 30 second comercial skip. If you do some more serious work (30 second skip is "press the right 3 magic buttons...possiabbly after searching for a show with the right magic name") you can get to the login shell on the TiVo & do all manner of stuff...including putting your own web or e-mail interface on the "record stuff" feature, or extracting video, or inserting it. It is a whole lot more work to do that though, way way more on anything other then the old series 1 stand alone models.

    • by Palshife (60519)
      Apple never promised the feature that was taken out of iTunes 4.0. It was made clear in the license agreement as to what would be possible. The feature was an oversight, a bug, that was corrected in 4.1. Apple had to pull it because it wasn't supposed to be there in the first place.
  • Cool! (Score:5, Funny)

    by American AC in Paris (230456) on Friday June 06, 2003 @02:27PM (#6133845) Homepage
    Wired has another story about iTunes which notes that what Jobs taketh away, the community is bringing back.

    I saw a similar story yesterday on a popular community-driven geek news website. [slashdot.org]

    You should check it out sometime!

  • DONT BOTHER (Score:4, Informative)

    by jayteedee (211241) on Friday June 06, 2003 @02:27PM (#6133846)
    All the details have been pulled and the following remark inserted:

    "And yes, sorry, there used to be more details here. I didn't realize yesterday's presentation was supposed to be confidential. When I found out, I pulled the details. Honest mistake."
  • by dbrutus (71639) on Friday June 06, 2003 @02:27PM (#6133847) Homepage
    I think that Apple's setting itself up as an honest broker of web services in order to try to stay out of Apple Record's crosshairs. If Apple starts preferring one store above another, one label above another, it can be more realistically be claimed to be in the business and thus afoul of its previous corporate commitments. If what they're doing is just providing a deal for the labels to have their content distributed on Apple's web services platform, it's much more arguable that they're in the music business at all.
    • by Otterley (29945) on Friday June 06, 2003 @07:27PM (#6136217)
      I'm pretty sure that Apple Records and Apple Computer have ironed out their trademark dispute, because Apple Computer has owned the applemusic.com domain name since 1997:

      Domain name: applemusic.com

      Registrant Contact:
      Apple Computer, Inc.
      NOC Apple (Apple-NOC@APPLE.COM)
      +1.4089961010
      FAX: +1.4089741560
      1 Infinite Loop
      M/S 60-DR
      Cupertino, CA 95014
      US

      Created: 11/19/97 00:00:00
  • Album sales (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DetrimentalFiend (233753) * on Friday June 06, 2003 @02:27PM (#6133849)
    They say that 45% of the songs are purchased as albums as if itâ(TM)s a great accomplishment, but doesnâ(TM)t that mean that very few transactions are actually albums? For example, if there were about 10 songs per CD, then doesnâ(TM)t that mean that about 5% of all transactions are for an album. Or, in other words, only one out of every 20 purchases is for an album? Personally, I donâ(TM)t find this surprising, but I donâ(TM)t think that itâ(TM)s anything to be too excited over.
    • But in the grand scheme of things Apple makes more money off people buying individual songs vs. people buying whole albums (assuming said album is longer than 10 tracks)
    • Re:Album sales (Score:3, Insightful)

      by antibryce (124264)
      They say that 45% of the songs are purchased as albums as if itâ(TM)s a great accomplishment, but doesnâ(TM)t that mean that very few transactions are actually albums?


      That's on of the points of the iTMS. I don't need to buy the entire album just to hear the 1 or 2 songs I like.

    • I think it is written in a confusing manner. However, I think what the author was trying to say was that 45% of all purchaces are albums, which are 10 songs or so for something around $17. The other 55% are individual songs.
    • Re:Album sales (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Jucius Maximus (229128) <zyrbmf5j4x&snkmail,com> on Friday June 06, 2003 @02:41PM (#6133977) Homepage Journal
      "They say that 45% of the songs are purchased as albums as if itâ(TM)s a great accomplishment, but doesnâ(TM)t that mean that very few transactions are actually albums? ... Personally, I donâ(TM)t find this surprising, but I donâ(TM)t think that itâ(TM)s anything to be too excited over."

      It *is* something to be proud of. It is a legitimate, measurable proof with the sales figures to back it up that the traditional channels of music distribution are obsolete and the RIAA should get its head out of the sand and stop trying to prevent evolution.

      I'm too young to remember it, but I'm told that the music industry went ape when DAT came out and cassette tapes as well because they would cause rampant piracy resulting in an industry collapse. The fact that most songs are purchased as SINGLE ITEMS makes it very easy to prove what we have known all along: The RIAA was wrong once again. Per-song media-less distribution will not cause industry collapse. People want to be able to get the one track for a small price over the internet - not a whole CD with 12 filler tracks and one good track.

      • Re:Album sales (Score:3, Insightful)

        by tbmaddux (145207) *
        Per-song media-less distribution will not cause industry collapse.
        Ah, but it will cause collapse of the support industry for hype and distribution of circular pieces of plastic. Which AFAIK is the industry represented by the RIAA.

        Not that that's a bad thing.

        • Re:Album sales (Score:3, Insightful)

          by dbrutus (71639)
          The iTunes store is just an alternative outlet for the hype machine. Hype, otherwise known as marketing, is a legitimate business function that is necessary for all artists to make a living with their art. You have to have a patron, a fan base, or be independently wealthy to be a full time artist if starvation is to be excluded from the 'options' list.
      • Re:Album sales (Score:3, Insightful)

        by babbage (61057)

        People want to be able to get the one track for a small price over the internet - not a whole CD with 12 filler tracks and one good track.

        Not to be a naysayer or anything, but where did this meme come from? It's certainly not how I see things. Maybe it's just the genres of music I like (indie rock, old jazz, etc), but for most of the albums I like (which would include hundreds of albums in this context), I don't see them as "one good song and 12 filler songs".

        Maybe it's different if you're into crap lik

    • It's my prediction that they'll start seeing album sales drop rapidly as people finish "switching" their music collection to the new format. Once you've got all your old vinyl in AAC, you'll probably not want to risk the $10 on a new, untested album.
  • by gsfprez (27403) on Friday June 06, 2003 @02:30PM (#6133869)
    to know what happened in the meeting... :-(

    While the CD Baby page has not been taken down, its been neutered - all relevant info has been removed and I think its obvious why.

    Apple only gets about 6-12 months to have their innovations be innovations before someone else copies them.. putting out the info now, instead of in the 90ish days when the details will all be public, only gives MS and Real a head-start on their idea copying.

    I'm perfectly willing to wait and see.... tho other sources have already noted that Apple has mentioned a iTMS Compression tool to allow Indie's the ability to compress their own music on their own machines to make their music ready for sale on the iTMS.

    and if that's true.. that kicks fscking ass.

    Go Apple, you guys r0x0r.
    </16 year old pimple faced Apple Fanboy mode>
    (note: i'm not bashing their copying of Apple's ideas, i'm only stating fact)
    • by Anonymous Coward
      here are the deatils...

      I got an invitation to go to Apple's office for a presentation/meeting today (June 5, 2003) about how to get independent artists into the iTunes Music Store. There were about 150 people there, representatives from the best independent record labels and music services, in this invitation-only conference room. Steve Jobs came out and started a two and a half hour presentation/seminar/Q&A about iTunes and the benefits of independent labels making their music available there. I type
    • While the CD Baby page has not been taken down, its been neutered - all relevant info has been removed and I think its obvious why.

      Apple only gets about 6-12 months to have their innovations be innovations before someone else copies them.. putting out the info now, instead of in the 90ish days when the details will all be public, only gives MS and Real a head-start on their idea copying.


      Although that may be part of it, I doubt that's why Apple had them take down the information. I think its because the r
  • by 1019 (262204) on Friday June 06, 2003 @02:31PM (#6133879) Homepage
    I got an invitation to go to Apple's office for a presentation/meeting today (June 5, 2003) about how to get independent artists into the iTunes Music Store. There were about 150 people there, representatives from the best independent record labels and music services, in this invitation-only conference room. Steve Jobs came out and started a two and a half hour presentation/seminar/Q&A about iTunes and the benefits of independent labels making their music available there. I type fast and had my laptop, so I wrote down all the major points of their presentation as they went.

    NOTE: I've skipped the super-basic introduction to iTunes and what it does, because that can be found so many other places. This is the stuff that I felt was most important to musicians:
    The basics

    * The basics of iTunes Music Store are covered in many places, so if you haven't used iTunes Music store yet, read these links first:
    * Apple's iTunes Music Store website.
    * Great video showing the service.
    * NOTE: iTunes is not a website! It can only be accessed from the iTunes software run on Mac OS X (now) and Windows (by the end of the year.)
    * I highly suggest trying it for yourself. If you don't have a Mac, use a friend's. Enter your credit card info and actually buy a song. Tell it to store your info for future purchases. Buy a few more songs with the one-click system. I'm serious. You should try it yourself to really experience how amazingly cool it is.
    * They're using a DRM called Fairplay to make sure you can't put these songs on the internet and have them play on another player.

    Current Stats:

    * There are 6-7 million copies of iTunes in use.
    * 3.5 million songs sold so far. Selling about 500,000 songs a week now.
    * More than 75% of songs have sold at least once. There is a wide breadth in purchasing. This is not only fueled by hits.
    * 45% of all songs have been bought as an album. In other words: don't worry about the death of the album format. 45% of people prefer to buy as an album anyway, even though they always have the option to only buy per-song.
    * 90% of sales are 1-click downloads. (1-click is where customer has credit card stored on file, so that as soon as they click a song title, it starts downloading and their credit card is automatically charged.)
    * 10 previews (free 30 second listen) for every purchase. Meaning: 10 listens per buy.

    Price of music on iTunes

    * Songs must be 99 cents each.
    * Full albums are recommended to be $9.99 or lower.
    * Album price must be less than or equal to the sum of their tracks. So if you have a 5-song album, it can't be more than $4.95 to buy the full-length album.
    * Apple strongly recommends going even lower than $9.99. They'd like to see that price drop to make the full-album purchase even more desirable.
    * Only exception: if a song is over 7 minutes long, they won't offer it as a separate download. It will be available as part of the album only.
    * There is no cost to put your music on iTunes.
    * There will be no up-front advance from Apple.
    * Details on the wholesale price to the label will be mailed to us, later.

    Sales report to SoundScan

    * Apple is reporting all iTunes sales to SoundScan!
    * SoundScan measures per-song not per-album.
    * So if someone buys your whole album, each track on the album is reported as a song sale.
    * SoundScan requested to do it that way. It was their idea, not Apple's.

    About positioning and getting attention on iTunes

    * Apple has hired an editorial staff with backgrounds in music to decide what gets featured.
    * Editorial team makes decisions every day as to what goes where.
    * Big labels don't get preferential treatment.
    * "We pick music we like, and we think everyone else is going to like."
    * "We've had a lot of people offer money", but A
  • CD Baby (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Upright Joe (658035) <uprightjoeNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday June 06, 2003 @02:32PM (#6133884) Homepage
    Man, I hope CD Baby works out a licensing deal where CD's from CD Baby's catalog are also sold on iTMS. I plan on selling an album through them this summer and I would love for it to be available in iTunes as well.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 06, 2003 @02:32PM (#6133889)
    (a little OT)

    Thanks to companies like Apple, the smaller labels will really reap the benefits of getting their music out there without heavy tampering to 'prevent' piracy.

    I work for a music publication, and it's interesting to see which companies ignore the 'threat' of piracy, and which ones try to fight it.

    For example, the new Cradle of Filth arrived with a hand-signed number on the CD, and a b/w CD case with a skull and cross bones on it, warning me (the music critic) that "this disc is watermark protected" whatever that means.

    Meanwhile, the new Type O Negative arrived with a 10 second commericial attached (i.e. spliced into) each song ("Your listening to the new Type O Negative, in stores next month"). This CD will NOT get press in our publication, since it's hard to get into a CD when every 3-4 minutes some recorded message comes on; nice job, record executives. Way to prevent piracy!
    • It's truely amazing how Apple has managed to hit the nail on the head while the RIAA keeps swinging away futily. The RIAA keeps trying the closed fist approach to stoping mp3 piracy. Shut down as many services as possible. Sue everyone. Badmouth music fans. Unfortunately, any scholar of the internet can tell you that the more somebody tries to force out a popular service, the more the community will fight back with new sites, programs, hacks, etc.

      So Apple has come along with the open hand approach. They aren't insulting the music fans. They aren't insulting the technologically advanced community. They're co-existing. Download what you want. Hell, burn it if you want. Get the entire CD cheaper than it will cost you at any store. You can still love your music, download what you want, keep it, and support the musicians. And hell, now they're even saying they aren't playing favorites. IF you're telling me that the RIAA aligned groups get the same cashflow program as small indie labels, then I'm buying.

      We've been waiting awhile for a new "music delivery model" that pundits have been pushing for. I'm not saying Apple has the whole thing nailed down. But they're soooo close. They figured out the key of existing without being a slap in the face to the people they want to use their service. And now the RIAA has their tail tucked between their legs, trying to figure out why a bunch of hippies at Apple figured out something their teams of lawyers and PR consultants couldn't: Don't insult your customer.
    • This CD will NOT get press in our publication, since it's hard to get into a CD when every 3-4 minutes some recorded message comes on; nice job, record executives. Way to prevent piracy!

      it should get in your magazine.. mention it that you threw it in the trash because of that and if they want you to actually review it then send you something that is listen-able.

      you actually have the power to get these nut-heads attention... but being silent is not the way to do it.
  • DRM (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Phroggy (441) * <slashdot3@@@phroggy...com> on Friday June 06, 2003 @02:32PM (#6133890) Homepage
    One of the things I've been wondering is, if an indie label wants to make their own songs available without DRM, will Apple let them do so on the iTunes Music Store, or is DRM absolutely required? What if the band wants to sell unrestricted AAC files? What about MP3?

    Of course I expect most of them to want the DRM, but some may not.
    • by DdJ (10790)
      If an indie label wants to make their own songs available in MP3 format without DRM, the logical way to handle it is to use the "Artist's Website" feature of the music store to provide a link to an external site from which DRM-free MP3s can be downloaded.

      That'd work, wouldn't it? Personally, I'd love to see this for things like the Greatful Dead's concert recordings, which are largely available for free anyway.
      • Re:DRM (Score:2, Informative)

        by Frac (27516)
        the logical way to handle it is to use the "Artist's Website" feature of the music store to provide a link to an external site from which DRM-free MP3s can be downloaded.

        Nope.

        Quoted from the original article:

        What you CAN'T do

        * You can not sell an album as album-only format without allowing the purchase of single-songs.
        * Can't search by record label, although you can see the record label on the album info page.
        * There will be no links from iTunes to your website, or to buy the physical CD.
        * Right now t
        • Re:DRM (Score:3, Insightful)

          by mindlace23 (8412)
          There is, presumably, a difference between the artists website and the website of the record label: for example, http://fischerspooner.com is different from http://www.hollywoodandvine.com .

          The meeting was between apple and independent record labels, in case you missed it.

          So sorry, no conspiracy for you today.
    • Re:DRM (Score:4, Insightful)

      by wizarddc (105860) on Friday June 06, 2003 @02:49PM (#6134037) Homepage Journal
      I don't think Apple would even want to distribute songs over iTunes in a not DRM fashion. I imagine they're making a per purchase profit, so by allowing someone to download a totally unsecure file means they could lose revenue. Like the previous reply'er said, if they want to release a non-DRM track, then they can do it on thier own time, money, and bandwidth.
    • Re:DRM (Score:3, Insightful)

      by localman (111171)
      I really wish they would offer that. I've released DRM free [3honkees.com] music and would love to do so through the iTunes store. I hate DRM myself, and I don't want to inflict it on fans.

      I think a lot of artists are open to this idea. It is the one advantage that I have over the big players: I'm not a greedy bastard. I make music for fun, and I'd be happy if just the people who wanted to pay for it did.
  • Apple Policy (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Eglerion (679443)
    I'm actually a little suprised at the heavy handedness Apple has shown with preventing the LAN streaming of mp3's all together. Apple has always been one to promote innovation, well usually unless they think its a threat. But the issue with preventing the iTunes streaming may have something to do with these new deals with the music labels, Apple may have it's hands tied and has pressure on it by the labels, who knows.
    • I'm actually a little suprised at the heavy handedness Apple has shown with preventing the LAN streaming of mp3's all together.

      What are you talking about? AFAIK LAN streaming is still working. Internet streaming has been neutered.

      (However, 4.0 won't open streams originating from 4.0.1 machines.)
    • Re:Apple Policy (Score:3, Informative)

      by Have Blue (616)
      Apple did not prevent LAN streaming. They prevented *Internet* streaming. You can still stream to the same subnet.
  • So lets get the theories out in the open. How long until I can post a song I've made and sell it on apple's service at $0.99 a piece (with apple of cource getting a portion of the proceedes)?
    • Re:It's almost there (Score:2, Informative)

      by amichalo (132545)
      RTFA

      Apple stated you MUST use a lable to sell music and it would not support people posting their own tracks on iTMS.

      Further, the FA says participation by a lable in the iTMS is invitation only.

      RTFA
      • Re:It's almost there (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Knobby (71829)

        It also states at the bottom of the page, that CDBaby would be interested in working with independent musicians to get them a spot on iTMS.

        I'm sure CDBaby would like some sort of cut, but they do this with their CD sales already, so they've already worked out the contract issues.

  • by RestiffBard (110729) on Friday June 06, 2003 @02:39PM (#6133951) Homepage
    What is it with people wanting to make a good thing unavailable? The streaming capability of iTunes seemed pretty sweet to me. But, of course, some jackasses had to figure out the way to use that capability to further steal music. Why? What the fuck is your problem? Are you a kleptomaniac? An anarchist? You just hate other people and don't want them to enjoy things? You're not cool. You're a retard. You are the reason that good things get taken away. Dude, cut it the fuck out. You're no different than the jackass that first took a hair dryer into a shower.

    Go ahead, flame away. Mod me down. I have the karma to burn.
  • Details pulled but.. (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 06, 2003 @02:39PM (#6133954)
    According to a post in the MacRumors [macrumors.com] forums from CDBaby the details were pulled and here's why:

    --------------
    It wasn't wrath or lawyers that asked me to pull it. It was a friend of mine that works there.

    I sincerely didn't know yesterday's presentation was supposed to be confidential. In fact I thought it was like an indie-music press conference.

    Nobody's mad, though. Honest mistake.

    Sorry guys!

    --
    Derek Sivers, CD Baby
    http://www.cdbaby.com

    --------------

    But.... here it is anyhow...

    I got an invitation to go to Apple's office for a presentation/meeting today (June 5, 2003) about how to get independent artists into the iTunes Music Store. There were about 150 people there, representatives from the best independent record labels and music services, in this invitation-only conference room. Steve Jobs came out and started a two and a half hour presentation/seminar/Q&A about iTunes and the benefits of independent labels making their music available there. I type fast and had my laptop, so I wrote down all the major points of their presentation as they went.

    NOTE: I've skipped the super-basic introduction to iTunes and what it does, because that can be found so many other places. This is the stuff that I felt was most important to musicians:
    The basics

    * The basics of iTunes Music Store are covered in many places, so if you haven't used iTunes Music store yet, read these links first:
    * Apple's iTunes Music Store website.
    * Great video showing the service.
    * NOTE: iTunes is not a website! It can only be accessed from the iTunes software run on Mac OS X (now) and Windows (by the end of the year.)
    * I highly suggest trying it for yourself. If you don't have a Mac, use a friend's. Enter your credit card info and actually buy a song. Tell it to store your info for future purchases. Buy a few more songs with the one-click system. I'm serious. You should try it yourself to really experience how amazingly cool it is.
    * They're using a DRM called Fairplay to make sure you can't put these songs on the internet and have them play on another player.

    Current Stats:

    * There are 6-7 million copies of iTunes in use.
    * 3.5 million songs sold so far. Selling about 500,000 songs a week now.
    * More than 75% of songs have sold at least once. There is a wide breadth in purchasing. This is not only fueled by hits.
    * 45% of all songs have been bought as an album. In other words: don't worry about the death of the album format. 45% of people prefer to buy as an album anyway, even though they always have the option to only buy per-song.
    * 90% of sales are 1-click downloads. (1-click is where customer has credit card stored on file, so that as soon as they click a song title, it starts downloading and their credit card is automatically charged.)
    * 10 previews (free 30 second listen) for every purchase. Meaning: 10 listens per buy.

    Price of music on iTunes

    * Songs must be 99 cents each.
    * Full albums are recommended to be $9.99 or lower.
    * Album price must be less than or equal to the sum of their tracks. So if you have a 5-song album, it can't be more than $4.95 to buy the full-length album.
    * Apple strongly recommends going even lower than $9.99. They'd like to see that price drop to make the full-album purchase even more desirable.
    * Only exception: if a song is over 7 minutes long, they won't offer it as a separate download. It will be available as part of the album only.
    * There is no cost to put your music on iTunes.
    * There will be no up-front advance from Apple.
    * Details on the wholesale price to the label will be mailed to us, later.

    Sales report to SoundScan

    * Apple is reporting all iTunes sales to SoundScan!
    * SoundScan measures per-song not per-album.
    * So if someone buys your whole album, each track on the album is reported as a song sale.
    * SoundScan requested to do it that way. It was their idea
  • by computerme (655703) on Friday June 06, 2003 @02:40PM (#6133966)
    Found this on the macnn boards:

    Sorry - I took the details down from that page. It wasn't wrath or lawyers that asked me to pull it. It was a friend of mine that works there. I sincerely didn't know yesterday's presentation was supposed to be confidential. In fact I thought it was like an indie-music press conference. Nobody's mad, though. Honest mistake. Sorry guys!

    -- Derek Sivers, CD Baby http://www.cdbaby.com
  • by emo boy (586277) <hoffman_brian@@@bah...com> on Friday June 06, 2003 @02:40PM (#6133970) Homepage
    but the article said that in 20 years Apple has never sold an icon to a desktop in their operating system. This may be true but if you install OS X you will be asked to sign up for an Earthlink account. To me that sounds like advertising sold to Earthlink to place their company ahead of others. Just a thought.
    • by renard (94190) on Friday June 06, 2003 @03:08PM (#6134165)
      Yeah, and if you order prints through iPhoto then they come to you courtesy of Kodak... this is not paid advertising, this is partnership. Apple decides to offer a service (Dial-up internet connectivity; prints of digital photos; iTunes albums in physical CD form) to its users, and chooses to partner with another company (Earthlink; Kodak; Amazon) to deliver that functionality. Sure, there's a monopoly aspect to it, but if you don't want the functionality, don't use it. And remember, if Apple hadn't made the partnership to begin with, you wouldn't even have a choice.

      The alternative of Apple negotiating & interfacing with multiple providers, for each of these services, just so that you can have a choice ("I'd like my prints from Fuji this time, please.") is simply not going to happen. Apple is an underdog in the larger PC market. Exclusive arrangements are one of the few carrots they have to offer (and allow them to negotiate good rates for their users).

      -renard

  • by VValdo (10446) on Friday June 06, 2003 @02:40PM (#6133973)
    The "What Jobs taketh away.." article refers to Andromeda [turnstyle.com], a $35 web-based file streaming program.

    There is a free GPL'd alternative, ZINA [pancake.org] (Zina Is Not Andromeda) as well as other solutions [sourceforge.net]. A search of freshmeat.net [freshmeat.net] for "jukebox" will reveal even more...

    W
  • Apple is treating everyone as equvalents in that all labels receive equal treatment with the same deal, the same agreements and you work with the same team of people.

    All the independent labels, you mean?

    This clearly isn't true for the big labels. Some "hits" can only be bought if you take the whole album -- they won't sell Don MacLean's "American Pie" for $0.99 -- and exceptionally long tracks (>7 mins) often have the same restriction. Some albums also stick to the $0.99-per rule past the $9.95-per-o

  • by guinsu (198732) on Friday June 06, 2003 @02:51PM (#6134049)
    I just don't see how Apple is having millions of downloads and sales every month from software that isn't on _that_ many computers. It doesn't seem to make any sense. Are these numbers legit or is Apple cooking the books?
    • Well, let's see. I've bought close to 70 songs from the music store. I'm mostly buying stuff that I didn't have already. I've bought only one album, and single tracks apart from that.

      So, if Apple says there are 3 million OS X users (I don't have the exact number), let's take a conservative estimate of maybe 6 or 7 songs per user. That's 19.5 million songs. The iTunes music store was started on 28 April, and if 500,000 songs a day are sold (on average), then you end up with the numbers stated above. I
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 06, 2003 @03:09PM (#6134169)
      Why is this so hard to believe?

      Assume Apple has 3 million OS X computers with iTunes installed. I'm guessing that number is larger, but lets go with that.

      They are averaging 500k songs a month. That means 1 in 6 users is willing to spend .99 cents a month on a song. Take into account that occaisionally a record gets bought which would decrease the 1 in 6 number even further.

      The reason the iTMS is doing so well is that it's very easy to get into, and very non-binding. You don't need a monthly contract, there's almost no barrier to entry, you just pick up a $.99 song and you're done, with no hassle. You come back, or you don't, but because your information is all ready to go, and the store is built into your player, it is very easy....tempting even, to return and get another song for just $.99 later on.

      Also, this caters to impulse buying big time. If I hear a song that's good on my way home from work, I can fight traffic and get to the CD store and plop down $12-$15, or I can wait til I get home, get the song I liked, and preview the other songs to make sure it's worthwhile.

      Honestly, maybe its hard to believe how easy it is to get lured in until you've actually used the service and seen how easy it is to use, but 1 in 6 buying a song a month seems very believable to me, and I bet it goes up once the selection gets a little bit deeper.

      -SC

      • This is no reflection on the accuracy or your post. I pretty much agree with you.

        I just found it to be humorous that the quote at the bottom of the page said, "The bogosity meter just pegged," when I read your post.

        I just had to share that, at the risk of loging karma.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Apple has somewhere around 15 million unbelievably loyal customers in the United States. Of these, about five million have seen the light and upgraded to OS X. Of these, probably three million are actually using iTunes 4. Of those, maybe half (1.5 million) are actually buying from the iTMS.

      1.5 million highly intelligent, mostly creative people who love things like music and movies and art.

      I don't find it at all surprising that 1.5 million people can buy a three million songs a month. That's only two songs
    • by NetFu (155538) on Friday June 06, 2003 @04:19PM (#6134904) Homepage Journal
      Hmm, 6-7 million iTunes 4 users and you don't know how they could sell 500,000 $0.99 songs per week? That doesn't seem that unreasonable to me -- I don't buy much music (maybe 5 CD's per year), but I've already purchased 94 songs from iTunes, as of today (maybe 40% of those were full album purchases).

      To me, iTunes is like the 7-11 -- CONVENIENT. I have two sons (aged 2 and 4) and a full-time job, so I don't often have time to go wandering around a store browsing for music usually not able to find what I want. I can count half a dozen purchases (maybe half of all the 94 songs) since I started buying music from iTunes that I never would've bought if I didn't have access to iTunes -- I'm stuck at home with the sick kids because my wife has to work, I'm watching a music awards show or music video at 8pm on a weeknight, I see during lunch at work that a hot new artist just released a new album I can get without leaving work, and on and on and on...

      I think this is just a revolution of convenience that the music industry needed very badly. Or maybe this is just proof that the Mac market IS actually viable -- you know some people will just refuse to like or accept THAT!
  • was "Plus Steve Jobs reminded us they have $41 billion in the bank and are not in debt. They're not desparate(sic) for cash."

    I knew they had money, but sheesh. Though I'm leaning towards it being a typo, and it should read "4.1 billion", as that would be more in line with what I last heard.

    Still, they are clearly on solid ground for a computer maker these days. Or for any product manufacturer, for that matter.

    I wonder if that's enough to buy SCO....
  • by sharlskdy (460886) <scottman.telus@net> on Friday June 06, 2003 @03:16PM (#6134223) Homepage
    I wonder how the math works for the music industry. Are they afraid that they're going to start losing money from individual songs sold direct at .99 each, or would they prefer to sell a full album at 9.99 each, full of filler that most people don't want? It could be a whole new market for them, or at least restoring the old market that was lost when people stopped buying 45 RPMs. There never was a successor to that format that caught on, although clearly there is a demand for being able to purchase the 'hit singles'.
  • by Pray_4_Mojo (13485) <redrobot@@@christopherwilson...net> on Friday June 06, 2003 @03:42PM (#6134482) Homepage Journal
    I'm trying to figure out what the big deal is.
    Apple makes a freely available "QuickTime Streaming Server". Download it, install it. And stream your music through it. Its not that hard. Anyone with quicktime can then connect and listen to the music stream. Its not like apple really "forced fed anyone shit."
    They just made it slightly harder for the RIAA to hold them accountable.
  • Apple Computer, the newest music distribution company? Let's not forget that with Apple's newly acquired library of music they will (if they haven't already) be financially encouraged to join those who want everlasting copyright power. So, as someone should remind the /. audience who is quick to react to shiny new objects and services, don't be so quick to get warm fuzzies when you think of Apple Computer. There is a more important bargain with society that still needs to be addressed anytime we're talking about matters of copyright.

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